I had a delayed LD flap recon in 2010, after a mastectomy in 2007.
I did not have an implant or expander put in at first as I wanted to look into the possibility of doing it with lipofil. However that turned out not to be an option for me so I had an implant put in six months after the original surgery.
During the LD surgery you have a flap of skin taken from your back - this is what will stretch to accomodate the implant. I never had an expander - just the implant to make me a C cup, and that was fine. The skin stretched OK and caused me no trouble.
The scar on my back goes from below my armpit to the middle of my back, so quite long (an immediate LD flap scar would not be so long) but it was placed to run underneath my bra strap, so is covered up when I am wearing a bra. This one faded much quicker than the scars on my recon (ie around the skin flap) and now is barely noticeable.
I don't remember pain being an issue after surgery. It's more that movement is a bit awkward because you have had surgery to both your back and your front. I found I had to lie on my back in bed for the first few weeks, and shifting position in bed is awkward due to the surgery sites. Someone on here suggested satin sheets - that would make moving a lot easier as you could just slide around!
My back scar gives me no trouble now - I am only aware of it when I stretch in the mornings (as I have done ever since my mastectomy) and am really pushing it to its limits.
Yes for me the op was worth it. It makes a difference in what you can wear, you no longer need specialist bras or swimwear, and best of all I am no longer constantly reminded of cancer when undressed.
Thankyou girls for replying to me and thankyou Revcat for moving my post. With regards to choices I was not offered any, mainly because I already having scarring on my tummy. I have had the booklets and looked at them although not the one you mentioned so I will have a look at that one also, and I agree the LD flap definately looks better than the tummy one, although I will have to have another op to put the implant in once my skin has been stretched enough. It is giving me more confidence to see how many people are having this done, please let me know how it goes for you Tracey and good luck.
Also I was told that I would need this doing again in about 10 years.
I am in much the same position as you. I had my Mx last March, followed by rads (had my chemo upfront). My LD recon is planned for the end of Feb. It is not something that I am going into lightly, but it is, after careful thought, something that is vital to me. My decision was which sort of recon to have, rather than whether to have it or not. Have you been offered a choice? I opted for LD in the end, because it is not such a huge op, as Diep/tram for example. I think it will give me the results I want, and I am willing to put myself through the process to reach the end result.
My understanding is that an envelope of skin and supporting muscle is made from the elliptical piece of tissue removed from your back. The muscle is passed through your armpit, and extra skin gives you enough room for the implant. Some women have an expander, without the flap, but my understanding is that this is generally only done if you have not had rads, as the skin is supple enough to stretch. My implant will be put in, and does have a 'port,' but that is just for final adjustments and balancing. There is so much initial swelling, your surgeon has to 'guess' what your finished breast size will be - and you obviously want this to match.
Have you read 'Breast Reconstruction, Your Choice,' by Rainsbury and Straker? It is very comprehensive, with lots of photos of what you can expect in terms of scarring etc. The ladies I have met, some months and years on from their recons have looked fabulous, with very little scarring, so take heart!
Only you know what the right choice is for you, but I hope this helps,
Hi Migsy, I'm afraid I can't answer your questions (my LD recon was immediate and no implant) but your post had slipped so far down the list it might get missed, so I'm bumping it up.
Hello Ladies, Is there anyone out there that can put my mind at ease.
I had my mastectomy done in 2008 followed by a lot of chemo and Radio-therapy. Although the op went well I did suffer through the chemo and was in hospital a lot. I thought I would be ok with my prothesis, but I'm not, I want to feel like a female again
I am booked into having a LD reconstruction at the Royal Free in March this year and I am very concerned. I am having the expander put in first followed by them filling with saline to expand the tissue,they asked if I wanted a reduction on the other side which I said no, so they will uplift this one I have been informed he will not need to do any skin grafts, although I am meeting the surgeon again before surgery, this eventually will be followed by another operation to put the implant in.
I am worried about the explander as I do not seem to have any room because the scar feels as if its right on my chest wall. I have been told it may be uncomfortable to sleep, is this the same as when you first have the mastectomy.
What is the pain threshold like, immediately after surgery and the following weeks.
Whats the scarring like on your back, does this give you any pain or problems, How can you wear a bra
Is it worth it at the end of the day, although it would be lovely to have a clevage again and not worry about what you have to wear.
Please help me and let me know.